There’s no doubt that we have a tremendous opportunity in front of us. A government with an absolute majority can make tough decisions that would never have been possible under a coalition. While we’re still getting used to the novelty, here are the steps that I feel are good for India and that need to be implemented ASAP.
1. A Uniform Civil Code
No modern liberal society has different laws for people of different religions. It’s crazy and it’s astounding that this state of affairs has continued for this long. Just because someone is born into a religion by accident shouldn’t mean that the government gets to treat them differently. To make matters worse, those most affected by disparate civil codes are women when it comes to property inheritance, and divorce laws. We need a standard civil code that is the same for everyone based on humanitarian and liberal principles. People can practice their religion in private. But as soon as it comes into contact with the government, all differences must vanish. Marriage, divorce, and property ownership are legal procedures – not religious ones. And as such, they need to be the same.
2. Police Reforms
To be fair, this has been a state matter so far. The “Modi development” paradigm is unrealistic given the fact that the PM or the center actually has very little control over our day to day environment. All that comes under the purview of the state. Nonetheless, with an absolute majority I think police reforms are mandatory. We need an independent and strong police force that doesn’t have to suck up to politicians for their daily bread. I don’t know what kind of pressure a solid central government will be able to exert on states, but Modi can make police reforms an integral part of his overhaul strategy. We need it badly.
3. More Judges and More Support to the Judiciary
Along with point No. 2, we need a hell of a lot more judges. It’s unforgivable that there are vacancies in the higher courts. India has one of the worst judge to population ratios in the world and it’s only getting worse. In addition, the Supreme Court needs to start hearing only cases of Constitutional importance. No more of this endless appeals nonsense dragging on for years. The job of the SC should be to interpret the Constitution and preserve its basic structure. Not every appeal needs to be kicked upwards. In my opinion, these three points are the ones that will have the greatest impact on India’s future. Sure, the PM also has to decide fiscal policy, control inflation, make the economic environment better for us, deal with foreign relations and defence and so on and so forth. But everyone does that. For the first time in 30 years we have a government with an absolute majority who can bite the bullet and finally do what’s right for the country without having to bother with coalition compulsions. And the above three steps are exactly what we need right now. I’m hopeful that Modi doesn’t waste his mandate in useless endeavors like the Ram mandir or whatever. He built his entire campaign on development and making India a better place. Let’s hope he follows through.